We all know that there was a massive stigma around getting a divorce 40+ years ago. However, even though divorce is very common today, there is still some divorce stigma that people who are are considering a dissolution of marriage may face.
Divorce, after all, is going to change many aspects of your life going forward. You may find that some of the friends you had no longer want to spend time with you. Some of your coworkers might look at you differently. This can make some people feel a bit isolated and lost when they are going through their divorce.
Below, we will be looking at some of the reasons divorce is still stigmatized in some circles, as well as ways that you can cope with the social stigma.
People Will Speculate
Consider all of the reasons that people get divorced. When you get divorced, people are going to start thinking about why you are divorcing. Even if you tell them why—which isn’t their business—it doesn’t mean they will believe you.
They are likely to think the most salacious of things. It must have been because you or your spouse was having an affair. It must be because you were unhappy with your ex’s expensive tastes and wasteful spending—even though there is no evidence of it.
People will think that you or your spouse did something wrong and will find ways to blame you for it. While it could be true that one of you was at fault, you might’ve just fallen out of love, too.
It doesn’t matter to the speculators, though. They will have their own ideas and are likely to spread those ideas as the gospel.
People Think Something is Wrong with One of You
Other times, people might feel that there has to be something wrong with you if you are getting divorced. Why would your spouse no longer want to be with you or vice versa? Were they abusive, unloving, or did they just get bored?
Regardless of the truth, people will again have their own ideas of what happened that will become the “truth” among friend groups, families, and coworkers.
Divorce Is Still Taboo with Some
Even though divorce is common, there are still some cultures and religions that do not believe in the idea of divorce. They might not say it to your face, but some may feel you are making a mistake and maybe even that you are committing a sin, adding to the divorce stigma that our society has carried with us from centuries ago.
These people are likely to treat you differently, try to talk you out of the divorce, etc. Even in cases where there was abuse, there are people who may still try to get you to stay with your spouse.
Here’s something that a lot of people don’t expect when they are getting divorced. They start to stigmatize themselves. They only identify as someone who is divorced and make it part of their personality, wearing it like some dishonorable badge. They might also feel there is something wrong with them, which is why they were divorced.
Often, it’s this self-stigma that is the hardest to conquer. You can tune out other people, but it’s hard to quiet the voice inside of your head. However, it’s necessary if you want to get past the way you are feeling about your divorce.
Coping with the Stigma
Although it’s not as bad as it used to be, the stigma of divorce still exists. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help you cope with it better.
It Doesn’t Define You
First, you have to make sure that you never let it define who you are or how you view yourself. Just because you are getting divorced doesn’t mean that’s the only thing there is to you. Don’t make the divorce part of your identity, as mentioned earlier.
There’s Nothing Wrong with You
Getting a divorce simply means that the marriage didn’t work. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your personality. It becomes easy to feel as though you were the cause and that you did something wrong. Don’t foist the blame onto yourself and feel as though it was all your fault.
You Are Lovable
A divorce doesn’t mean you are unlovable or that there is something broken in you. It just means that a relationship didn’t work out. The next one could be the relationship you have been waiting for all your life.
One of the best ways to deal with the stigma of divorce is to surround yourself with good people who don’t care about such things. Maybe you lost a few friends when you got divorced. They might’ve chosen to remain friends with your partner. That’s okay. You didn’t need them in the first place.
The friends who remain with you are going to be there for the long haul. Cherish these friends and spend time with them. They are great for helping you get over a divorce and to stop worrying about what others think.
In addition to the friends you currently have, try to make some new friends, as well. It will be refreshing to have some new friends who do not know your ex at all.
It Gets Easier
You will also find that the longer you have been divorced, the fewer people’s judgments will affect you. You will realize that you made the right decision, and no matter what they say will no longer make you feel bad whether it’s an old friend or a family member that says it.
Yes, divorce sucks, and having other people judge you for it is just as bad. However, you aren’t alone here. A lot of people have gotten divorced, and no one should cast stones. Just because someone might be judging you for your divorce, it doesn’t mean that they are happy in